Mezbaan, Kings Heath

If you’ve never been to Mahfil in Kings Norton you’re missing an authentic Bengali trick.

If it’s because you live in Kings Heath, or let’s say Moseley or even Harborne and you can’t face the short trip you lazy blighters, you needn’t bother. Because Bahar – the man behind Mahfil – has opened a second place right on your very doorstep and it’s just as good, if not better than the original.

We visited Mezbaan just a few weeks after it flung open its doors and the place was buzzing. It was a random Tuesday in the height of holiday season and its liveliness took us by surprise. Take-aways were flying out of the door too. Early signs that Kings Heath was ready.

The place had a weekend vibe about it with low ceilings, great lighting (I know we’re obsessed) and some glamorous touches thrown in for good measure. We found it very easy to forget it was a school night. Cue a cheeky mojito with a tonne of mint which we loved.

We went with some recommendations from the waiter who was utterly lovely. First up Chicken 65 – we don’t know why it’s called Chicken 65, we were enjoying ourselves so much we forgot to ask. Tender chicken breast encased in a delicate batter spiced beautifully and served with a punchy sauce. It was the perfect start.

Bangali Jinga was equally gorgeous. Juicy prawns, cooked in the tandoor giving them a dry, smoky flavour were seriously good with green chilli adding just the right amount of heat. We could have grazed on these all evening.

Chicken Hariali was rich with coconut milk and lightly spiced while the Lasani Ghust packed a punch with tender lamb and bags of heat running through the tomato based sauce. There were a couple of pickled onions on the side which I didn’t quite understand, but that’s the only nit-picking negative. Naan bread was as good as any we’ve had.

The waiter tried to tempt us with more cocktails before we left – one of which apparently tastes like Jammy Dodgers. We pulled ourselves back from the brink remembering it was a school night, but vowed to return for the biscuit-inspired drink and to work our way through the rest of the moreish menu. You can just pop in for drinks and there’s definitely a cocktail lounge vibe, but having tried the food it would be impossible. Go.

Mezbaan: 27-29 Poplar Rd, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7AA. Tel: 0121 441 3333